Juniors: Yes, the hard work will pay off

By General Education Advice

Post Early Decision-Early Action, I get many nice notes.  A good portion of these thank you notes are from students who took our SAT-ACT Mastery Seminar during the year or worked with us for college counseling.  They report their delight at gaining admission to their first choice colleges and/or other colleges of interest.  Parents write notes of appreciation regarding the merit aid they have received, which is largely tied to their children’s SAT scores.

Please convey to your high school junior. They need motivation RIGHT NOW!  Why? This is the most important half-year of their K-12 career.  The vast majority will take the SAT (or ACT).  Prep as seriously as possible.  While it often dismays parents to hear the truth, the scores matter more than all extracurricular activities combined for college admission.  Other than for athletic recruits – of which there are few – all those hours traveling and practicing simply do not pay off in relation to gaining college admission.  The same is true for play practice and most other activities.

Those activities are more fun and perhaps even more beneficial from a holistic perspective than test prep.  Test prep is work – although we make our seminar fairly enjoyable! – but it pays off.

Short term versus long term thinking.